Tag Archives: Columbia Journalism Review

Reporting On Opioids

Reporting on opioids: Maia Szalavitz reports that journalists fail to understand the complexities of opioid addiction and alternative treatment for pain or addiction.

The pharmaceutical industry “flooded the country with opioids and excellent journalism has exposed this part of the problem,” she writes. “But journalists need to become more familiar with who is most at risk of addiction and why — and to understand the utter disconnect between science and policy — if we are to accurately inform our audience.”

 

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More On Covering Hate

More on covering hate: Amanda Darrach finds a culture gap between young technology reporters who think trolling rhetoric is funny, while older reporters take it “totally seriously.”

“Our system is geared towards media manipulation on a massive scale,” she writes. “There are a lot of reasons why we’re in the mess that we’re in. Some of it has to do with reporters making bad choices, but the system is just set up to be manipulated.”

Bottom line: “It’s our job to document the human condition, and that includes the ugly parts.”

 

Creating An Online Portfolio

Creating an online portfolio: Rachel Schallom says think about your unique skills when creating an online portfolio that shows your work history.

“It’s a common challenge for many journalists,” she writes. “There are many roles in journalism that don’t lend themselves to traditional clip packages — editors, strategists, engagement producers, product managers.”

 

Keep Words Small For Big Ideas

Keep words small for big ideas: Merrill Perlman notes a trend toward journalists using big words to “sound smart.”

“But a journalist’s job is to inform,” writes Perlman, “and information will not come through if the audience doesn’t understand the words.”

Rather than sending readers to a dictionary, “a writer wants to keep readers reading, to keep them engaged in our stories.”

 

Protecting Female Reporters From On-Air Sex Assault

Protecting female reporters from on-air sex assault: Britni de la Cretz finds some broadcasting companies react when female journalists are groped or harassed on camera.

“Such companies offered the journalists time off, therapy or counseling services, and opportunities to reevaluate whether they wished to continue reporting from those locations where they were assaulted,” she writes.

“Each woman indicated that her newsroom took the incidents incredibly seriously, especially considering the long-term psychological risks of harassment on the job, and responded in a way that felt adequate, though that may not always be the case.”

Domestic Violence Coverage Standards

Domestic violence coverage standards: Justin Ray examines a conflict between Vermont State Police and the Barre Times Argus over a murder-suicide.

The local newspaper “ultimately pledged to improve its standards for domestic violence coverage — though the paper’s editor raised concerns about the (police) spokesman’s voluble criticism and the potential precedent it sets for the paper’s relationship with a prominent state agency,” Ray writes.

Updating News Archives

Updating news archives: Rick Paulus writes that outdated “trapped-in-time” news segments don’t tell the whole story.

“Creating detailed stories from the splinters of larger narratives is at the core of news gathering,” he writes.

“Journalists are charged with determining the scope of stories — where they begin and end, how broad or narrow a story should be. That challenge is now complicated by digital duplication, infinite archives and instantaneous access to them.”

 

 

Local News Death Spiral

Local news death spiral: Kyle Pope reports that job cuts at the New York Daily News signals need to avoid self-pity in journalism.

“This can’t be about us,” he writes. “It has to be about why the country should care if local news goes away, which is the trajectory we now find ourselves on. What are the effects on a democracy if local news is no longer in the picture?”

He adds: “If you’re in journalism and you can’t muster an answer to that question, you need to move on.”

Tech Journalism

Tech journalism: James Ball calls for a universal approach.

“Maybe we should simply scrap the idea of a ‘tech desk’ altogether”, he writes.

“The sector needs scrutiny, but since technology now touches every aspect of our society, keeping it siloed from the rest of the newsroom now feels artificial. Let it be covered, extensively, across desks.”

Photojournalism’s Sexual Harassment Problem

Photojournalism’s sexual harassment problem: Kristen Chick writes that female photographers are calling for their own moment of reckoning.

“Many women in the industry say the behavior is so common that they have long considered it simply one of the realities of working as a woman in the profession,” she writes.

The problem is rooted, she says, in these factors: The field has historically been male-dominated with a culture that glorifies macho, hyper-masculine behavior; increasing reliance on freelancers; workshops and other events for young photographers are often exploited by older, established photojournalists.